Nadine Barrie Smith Memorial Fellowship awardee announced

Giang-Chau Ngo will be pursuing her passion for researching magnetic resonance imaging as the 2013 Nadine Barrie Smith fellow. The memorial fellowship awards female engineering graduate students who are conducting research in medical imaging.

Giang-Chau Ngo has been awarded the Nadine Barrie Smith Memorial Fellowship for fall 2013. She will be conducting her research with Brad Sutton, and focusing her efforts on the advancement of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Her current work aims to understand the impact of field inhomogeneity on MRI image acquisition and developing a correction method. She plans to work on the design of a pulse sequence fMRI acquisition that will not be sensitive to susceptibility differences in the brain.

“This will provide a uniform way to address artifacts across subjects and fMRI studies and create a more robust and sensitive brain imaging technique to move toward the grand challenge of understanding how the brain works,” Ngo said.

Ngo has been attending the University of Illinois, pursuing a Ph.D. in bioengineering. She received a master’s in engineering science as Ecole Centrale de Lille in France and a master’s in medical diagnostics at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.

“My desire to work as an engineer in the medical field magnified as I progressed through my studies. Beckman proposes numerous exciting research projects in the field of medical imaging. My first semester allowed me to explore these projects and ultimately I decide to work on MRI. I am honored to be involved in Dr. Sutton’s lab.”

The Nadine Barrie Smith Memorial Fellowships awards female engineering graduate students who are conducting research in the general field of medical imaging at the Beckman Institute. Ngo recognizes the significance of working in a scientific field.

“My family and environment have always supported my career choice. I am both blessed and grateful to have their support, but I am aware that not every woman is so lucky,” Ngo said. “By becoming a successful woman in a scientific field, I wish to inspire and encourage women everywhere to pursue their studies and dreams, especially in science, and help them achieve their goals. For these reasons, I am incredibly honored to be awarded this fellowship and I am determined to pursue my goal with great passion.”

The fellowship is awarded in honor of Nadine Barrie Smith’s life and achievements by her husband, Andrew Webb. She graduated with a bachelor of science in computer science from the U of I in 1985, and went on to become an internationally renowned researcher in the field of therapeutic ultrasound and noninvasive drug delivery. She also was a tireless supporter of promoting the role of women in engineering and science and established many educational programs to this end.